Finding Fault




Jamie Green is 37; Ben Green is 74; Elle Green is 39; Serdar Green is 73. 
(Daniel Green is 11)


January 2025

Jamie Green stared at the desk sergeant in disbelief.  "You're making it sound like this is my fault!"


"All I'm saying, sir, is that you own the club.  You're ultimately responsible for what goes on there, and the city has little tolerance for establishments that sell alcohol to minors."


"But I've come to you for help.  I'm at the end of my rope with this."  It wasn't that he was surprised by what was happening as such,- under-age kids had been sneaking into nightclubs since forever.  Hell, truth be told, he'd even done it himself a few times as a teenager.

What surprised him was the number of kids getting into PURE recently.   And their behaviour.  Most of them were half-drunk before they even arrived, one more drink and they couldn't handle it.  They were rowdy, trashing things, harassing other patrons... generally ruining the atmosphere for everyone, and New Year's Eve had been the worst night of it by far.  Jamie was losing customers now, and he wasn't happy.


"What am I supposed to do?" he asked.  "I've tried everything... hell, I even opened a teen club to keep them busy.  I own Wired.  I don't know what else I can do to stop this."
"Your doormen need to be extra-vigilant - " the desk sergeant started.


"They are vigilant," Jamie cut him off.  "They've got fake ID's.  Good ones.  You've seen the one we grabbed from that boy before he ran off..."
"Yes, but unless we actually catch someone in the act - "


"You've got his name here!"
"I doubt very much that it's his real name, sir."

He was right, of course.  Jamie took a deep breath and got up.  He couldn't see the point in discussing it any more.
----

From his bedroom window, Ben Green watched Jamie's car pull into the garage.  He hesitated at the top of the stairs, when he saw his son almost throw his keys at the butler, then continued down.  Bad mood or not, he needed to get this over with.

"So I take it that it didn't go well at the police station?" Ben asked.  Jamie just grunted in reply.


"Well, I've got a couple of pieces of good news that might cheer you up," Ben went on.  Actually, he was reasonably sure that at least one of the things would have exactly the opposite effect, but he was determined to pitch it as good news anyway.
"So, what is it?" Jamie asked.
"Your brother called a little while ago.  Suzie's pregnant."
"Wow..." muttered Jamie.  "I thought they wanted to wait a while."
"Only until the adoption was finalised.  They always wanted Jason to have a playmate close to his own age."
"Yeah, well, they must have conceived the day after the papers were signed...!"


"Well, that's what I thought, but why waste time?"  Ben grinned.  "Go on, be happy for them..."
"I am happy for them," said Jamie.  "I'm just surprised, that's all.  I'll give them a call later." He sat down on the sofa.  "You said, a couple of pieces of news.  What's the other one?"
Ben took a deep breath.  "Florence and I have set a date for the wedding."

Jamie stared at his father.  "I can't believe that you're actually going through with this foolish - "


"It's not foolish.  I'm marrying the woman I love, that is not foolish."
"You love her?  And she loves you?"
"Yes, she loves me,"  he replied calmly, although he had a feeling he knew where this was going.
"Would she love you as much if you weren't one of the richest men in town?  If she didn't have this big house to come to, and - "
"She's not coming to this house," Ben replied.  "That's the other thing I wanted to tell you.  After the wedding you and Elle and Daniel will have this place to yourselves.  Florence and I are going to make our home in her cottage."
"You're going to live in that tiny little - "



"Cottage," Ben finished.  "Yes, I'm going to live in that little cottage.  It's comfortable and cosy, a fine place for retirement."
"Is this because of the way we redecorated?  Because, if that's all the problem is, you know all the old stuff is in storage, all we have to do is - "
"No, it's nothing to do with that.  This is your home too, I was happy to let you do it."  He was lying, just a little.  Jamie and his wife had wanted to 'update' the house after Ben's wife Marisa died, a couple of years ago.  Ben had agreed, but they'd taken 'modern' almost to the point of 'sterile'.  The house reminded Ben of one of those show homes that are there to impress, rather than to do anything that vaguely resembles living.


"This is insane,"  Jamie said, getting up.  "She's 17 years younger than you."
"That doesn't make her a gold-digger."
"But it certainly increases the chances!"
"It's my money, you and your brother have more than enough in trust to be comfortable the rest of your lives.  Why do you care what I do with my money?"

"If that's the kind of crazy attitude you have, it's not surprising that you're such an easy target for her."
"And that's the only reason she'd want me, right?  Because I'm crazy?  Because I'm an easy target?  There couldn't possibly be anything about me that another person would value in a relationship... "
"Dad, that's not what I meant..."
"But it is what you said."

Jamie shook his head.  "We've been through this so many times.  You just don't get it."
"No, you just don't get it.  Florence and I am getting married.  I would like very much to have your support, but if you can't give me that, it doesn't change anything.  We are getting married, and the discussion is closed." He stalked out of the room, tugging his jacket roughly off the hook as he passed.
"Dad, wait - "
But he walked out the front door without looking back.

----

Elle was waiting for Jamie upstairs.  "Bad day?" she asked.
"No kidding?  Dad's still on about this crazy marriage idea, these kids are wrecking my business, and all the police can say is that it's my fault"  He looked up suddenly.  "Your sister's married to a cop.  Maybe he can do something."
"I doubt it.  Cameron's only a patrol officer... I don't think he's going to have much influence on anything... best thing to do is just forget all that for now... come here..."


She knew the best ways to make him forget.  She always had.  It wasn't that long ago that he'd seen himself as not being marriage material.  He'd certainly never expected to find someone like Elle Pitts. It wasn't some fluffy life-changing love-at-first-sight thing, far from it.


He'd continued to have other women, both before and after his marriage.  He was reasonably sure that Elle had other men.  It didn't bother him, though... so long as they kept it discreet, so long as they always came back to each other... they had an understanding, they both knew the rules.


That was the wonder in it all - that he should meet someone who would share that understanding with him.  Someone who would love him, who he could love in return, without being tied down by foolish promises that they knew they would never keep.


If he were to be honest, although he still appreciated having the option, it had been some years since he'd exercised his freedom with another woman.  More and more, he found that Elle satisfied him completely, in many ways.  They were so alike - both ambitious, both aware that no amount of wealth or success would ever really satisfy them.  And that was good.  It kept them motivated.  Let other people wallow in their flimsy contentment.  There was something to be said for always being hungry.


He looked at the time.  "I've got to go help Daniel with his homework."
She frowned.  "Isn't that what we've got a nanny for?"
"He asked me.  You know I can never say no to our son... "

She watched him leave.  As always, his pace changed, just slightly, outside the nursery door.  You probably wouldn't even notice it, if you didn't know to watch.  Elle knew.  She'd been watching it for the last eleven years that the nursery had sat empty.


Eleven years.  How many pregnancy tests can you fit into eleven years?  How many times has she watched his face fall when she told him, no, not this time?.  The latest had been this morning although now, as usual, he was acting like nothing had happened.  She'd never have imagined that it would mean this much to him, back when they were starting out.  But a lot had changed since then, and Elle had never imagined that she'd she'd be paying for the decisions she'd made, eleven years later.

----

"You look tired," Ben said.
"I am tired," said Serdar, "and that's all."


Ben looked at his brother suspiciously.  "Really?"
"You sound like Cory." Serdar replied.
"You can't blame me for being concerned," said Ben, noting that Serdar hadn't actually answered the question.  "Not when we're the only two left... "
Serdar shrugged.  "We're the youngest.  It was to be expected that we'd outlive our siblings."


"How can you be so casual about it?"
"I'm sorry.  I miss them too... but there's no point in dwelling it.  Especially for you, when you have so much to look forward to."  He smiled.  "You're lucky.  It's not often that a man can find love again, at our age."


"I wish Jamie could see it that way..."
"Has he still not come round?"
Ben shook his head.  "I thought it was just because of how close he was to his mother... Marisa's been gone two years, but I'm sure he still misses her... you know, the only room aside from my bedroom to escape his redecorating binge was her study.  Its still exactly the way she left it.... " he said with a sigh.
"But you think there's more to it than that?"
"He keeps going on about how she only wants me for my money... and I know she's not, but even if she was... what problem is it to him?  Its not like he won't be well provided for, no matter what."


Serdar looked thoughtful for a moment.  "What if he's right?" he said suddenly.
"What?"
"What if Jamie is right - what if she does only want your money?"
"Don't tell me now you - "
"I didn't say that... just tell me, what would happen if she was only after your money?"
"Well..." Ben started reluctantly,  "well, I imagine I'd lose some amount of money, of course."
"And...?"
"And a great deal of pride!"


"And...?
"And... what?  I don't get it."
"And life would go on, right?"
"Right... life would go on."
"Well, maybe that's what you need to tell Jamie."
"What do you mean?"


"You just told me he's still hurt over losing his mother.  Maybe what he needs to know, is that you're not going to roll over and die too, if the relationship goes sour.
Ben nodded slowly.  "Maybe... ".  It was certainly worth a try, if only he could think of a way to get that across to his son.
----

"What are you doing in here?" Elle asked.  "Your father's back, and he's wondering if you're coming to dinner."


Jamie turned around.  "Alvin and Suzie are having a baby." he said.  "He must have only needed to look at her to - "
"Jamie, its not my fault we can't - "
"I never said it was," she said.  "I just said she got pregnant in a hurry."
"Yeah, but you know I'm the reason we can't get pregnant."
"I'm not blaming you."  He didn't even bother trying to keep the irritation out of his voice.  "I'm just wondering what it is with everyone having babies lately - your sister, my brother... "


"We could adopt... "
"Elle, we've talked about this before.  Adoption isn't the way it was when you or Alvin were kids.  These days they encourage the birth mothers, even the fathers, to stay involved with the kid.  How are we supposed to be real parents to a kid with other people hovering around playing mummy and daddy?"
"Not all birth parents want to stay involved... look at Jason's parents, they haven't heard from them since - "


"... Alvin was lucky.  Do you think social services are just going to let us ask for someone who doesn't want contact?  It doesn't work like that."
"I know how it works!  Don't blame me for this, I didn't want it to be like this."
"For God's sake, Elle, I am not blaming you!"
"So you just get mad at me because - "


"Just, forget it!  Hell, sometimes you're so defensive, I just wonder if it really is your fault!"

----

"Is Elle not coming to dinner?" Ben asked.
Jamie shrugged.  "Hell if I know.  Sometimes I just can't figure her out."


They ate in silence for a while, then Ben spoke again.  "There's something I need you to do.  Before I marry Florence, I want to sign the house over to you and your brother.  Neither of you will be able to sell your share without the agreement of the other, of course, but it will just ensure that I still have my home to come back to, if it turns out that you are right about her."


Jamie stared at his father.  "What, now you agree that - "
"I never said that I disagreed, I just said that I'm going through with the marriage."
"But - "
"I'm not stupid, whatever you might think of me.  I know that there's a risk involved here.  My gut feeling is that Florence is genuine in her feelings for me, but there's a chance that I might be wrong.  Even so, I'd rather take that chance.  If I am wrong, at least I'll know.  At least I won't spend the rest of my life wondering what I've thrown away...".


They fell silent again, until Ben spoke.  "Jamie, please, I'm not even asking you to be happy for me... but can you at least respect my decision."


Jamie hesitated for a moment before replying.  "I'll try," he said.

---

Elle didn't bother with dinner.  After telling the butler that she didn't feel well, she retreated into their bedroom, knowing that she'd probably spend the rest of the night there alone while Jamie made some excuse about something he needed to do at the club.


She couldn't blame him.  She knew he was only sounding off, but the truth was, he was right.  It was her fault that Daniel was their only child, although not in the way he might have imagined.

They'd been fresh out of college, sharing an apartment with friends in the city.  They had plenty of money, no responsibilities, and no one to answer to but themselves.

Even then, Elle knew what she wanted. Jamie was top of the list. Before long, they were engaged.


She should have been more careful.  It wasn't like she didn't have experience at this kind of thing.  She let herself down in the worse possible way.


She knew how much Jamie valued his freedom.  It was a big enough step that he'd wanted to take her as his wife.  He'd never agree to the burden of a baby.  And, given the choice between Jamie and this unborn, unseen child, the decision was easy.


She'd intended to terminate the pregnancy, but when the time came it wasn't so easy.  Elle had been adopted by her parents. She'd probably been an unwanted pregnancy herself.  For all that she wanted this problem resolved, she just couldn't go through with it in that way.

So she told Jamie that she was going on a trip... made up some story about having always wanted to travel a bit, alone... something she wanted to get out of her system before she settled down to marriage.  He'd been a little put out, sure, but he never questioned her.


She had one photograph taken with her baby girl.  She named her Jordan, after her own mother, although she never knew if the adoptive parents had kept the name.  She wanted no contact with the child, once she relinquished it to social services.  She got a letter, some time later, saying that the girl had been adopted by a young childless couple, who intended to adopt further children in the future.


She returned home, determined to forget the child ever existed, but it wasn't that easy.  Jamie had caught her looking at the photograph once, and she'd told him that it was her sister's child.  She thought about the baby often, whether she wanted to admit it or not.

Things had changed for Jamie, too, and that was the worst part of it all.  As an only child, Jamie had little exposure to children as an adult.  Then, in their 50's, his parents decided to adopt a second son.  Alvin was an outgoing, popular child, and suddenly whenever he was at his parents' house, Jamie was surrounded by children.  And he loved every minute of it.


He was almost apologetic, when he told her how much he wanted children of his own now, promising to do all he could to minimise the effect on her life and her career.  What could she say?  She couldn't exactly tell him that he already had one, could she?  In any case, she decided, it didn't matter, she'd give him as many as he wanted to make up for it.

It hadn't worked out that way.  They'd conceived Daniel easily enough, but the pregnancy and birth had been difficult - in more ways than Jamie knew, too.  She'd paid that doctor a good amount to never reveal to Jamie that it wasn't her first pregnancy, but she'd spent the whole time worrying that something would slip out anyway.

Jamie way overjoyed at his new son, although they both knew that he would probably be Elle's only child.  She would have been satisfied with that.  Parenthood wasn't her thing, not at all.  She loved her son, but she just couldn't relate to him, or to children in general.  She'd leave that to Jamie.


She watched Jamie's car leave.  No surprises there.  He'd probably stay the night at their apartment in the city.  Alone?  Elle doubted it.  They both knew that was part of the reason they'd kept the apartment when they moved back with his parents after Daniel was born.  There were enough times when she'd taken advantage of it, too.


A thought crossed her mind... how easy it would be for Jamie to father another child, if he really wanted.  How easy it would be, for someone else to give him that one thing that he really longed for.

How easy would it be, for her to be superfluous?

She felt a brief twinge of fear, at the thought of losing Jamie, but she pushed it aside.  There was nothing to be gained by letting foolish sentiment get in the way of the need to be practical.  She was used to a certain lifestyle now and, for all that she loved Jamie, he wasn't the only man in the world who could provide it.

Maybe, it was time to make contingency plans.
----

Introducing more of my hood now... Elle is the daughter of Ashley Pitts II and his first wife Jordan, which makes her Jamie's cousin... but as with Cory and Rose, because they're separated by an adoption, I let the relationship go.  Actually, I was quite stunned the relationship developed to the point of marriage wants at all, with these two.


They were in college when I installed ACR, and Elle really made the most of it!  I don't think that she had a single male room-mate in the four years that she didn't woohoo, well earning her Romance secondary aspiration.  I ended up taking away the hot tub and locking all the rooms that had double beds, because she was wrecking everyone else's relationships... not that the guys seemed to mind, but their girlfriends weren't so happy!


As for the pregnancy/adoption storyline, she pretty much continued that level of activity (although with Jamie - mostly!) when they graduated - aside from ACR, there was rarely a time when she didn't have a woohoo want in her panel.  It was inevitable, I guess, that eventually a birth control failure would hit.  I never imagined either of them as parents, so I had her put the baby up for adoption.  


Meanwhile, Jamie had also been an 'accident' born to two sims I hadn't imagined as parents, but they surprised me by rolling baby wants for the first time, in their 50's.  Too late for a pregnancy, so they adopted a child, Alvin. Jamie had moved back home while Elle was 'out of town', and he just loved the boy.  So ironic, by the time I bought her back he'd earned a Family secondary and I figured Elle had a secret she could never tell.  And she really never fell pregnant again after Daniel, despite my turning off bc.  Jamie continues to roll baby wants quite often.


BTW, all the pics at the end were from back when it happened - no re-shooting involved this time.  So not all of my older pics are terrible :)




Ben is engaged to Florence Delarosa of Bluewater Village, who can't seem to have a conversation with Jamie without a disagreement in it, which is why I'm writing him as opposed to the marriage.  She's not in her original house - I moved her into this cottage, which I love, and she bought the community lot flower shop in Bluewater.  You'll meet her when we have their wedding in a couple of sim-months.


4 comments:

  1. I was wondering if it was Florence from seasons ep. I wonder what will happen if the child comes looking for her parents. On one level, I think Jamie would be accepting of the news, but on the other hand, I think he would be upset and try to track down and take his little girl back.

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  2. I always thought Florence was a sweetie, so I'm hoping she plays that way in your game, and isn't after the money.

    Your older pics are quite nice! Mine are horribly small/grainy, in a word awful.

    How ironic with the baby, adoption, and then him wanting kids, and not being able to have more than one. That's the kind of secret that could tear a person up inside. I wonder how Jamie would react if he found out... I can see why she doesn't want to tell him, that's not something I'd ever want to tell ether!

    They could adopt internationally, no open adoptions (not in the sense of involvement) with that, some will send letters, but most don't do anything. We looked into it ourselves a few years ago.

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  3. I love meeting "new" families, and this one was no exception :)


    I love the story of Jamie and Elle, there's so much to work with here! Will Elle eventually tell Jamie everything? Will they have another baby? What will happen if Jordan comes looking for her real parents? .... So much to tell, and I can't wait to read more about it, whatever you decide to do with it!!

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  4. Apple, yes, it's that Florence, I've decided she's in her 50's in my game, so that the age gap between her and Ben isn't too huge :) Haven't really decided what will happen in future with Elle and Jamie's daughter... I always imagined that some day the truth would come out, but still don't know when or how. All I know is that it will defiantly be a big drama when it does!

    Maisie, not all of my older pictures are that good, so I was pleasantly surprised when I went looking for these :)

    I never thought of international adoption! That actually fits with the way that its relatively easy to adopt in the way the game intended... not that international adoption is easy, I know it's not, but I mean the fact that there seems to be no shortage of children available with no apparent family ties... would make more sense if they came from a country that had experienced some kind of war/disaster/whatever.

    You're giving me ideas now... :)

    Tanja, you'll be meeting a few more families here in the near future... although not all as drama-filled as this one :)

    There is a lot to work with in this situation, and I'l still thinking about how it will work out.

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Thanks for reading and commenting!